It’s the end of first semester and you’ve pulled several all-nighters in a row. The absolute last thing you want to do is attend that 9 a.m. organic chemistry class, but you remembered that attendance counts. Five minutes before you need to leave, you roll out of bed and pull on a pair of sweats over your sleep shorts. Throwing your hair into a messy bun, you grab a pair of slides and dash out the door. We’ve all been there. Thank goodness there’s zero judgement for showing up to class in lazy wear.
However, dressing up (or at least upgrading from sweatpants you haven’t washed in a week) has its perks. You don’t need to be runway-ready to go to class, but putting in the extra effort is more advantageous than you realize.
1. It can increase your self-confidence
You know that one dress or pair of shoes that makes you feel like you’re unstoppable? What if you felt that like that every day you walked into class? Sweats and slides are inarguably more comfortable than a pencil skirt and heels, but no one likes that sinking feeling when you realize you’re underdressed in comparison to your classmates. Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth College, believes that you can feel more put together with one simple trick.
“You should dress up for class because it’s a great boost for your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes I don’t feel like I want to dress up for class, especially for morning classes, because I’m tired, but taking the extra five minutes to put on a nice outfit and brush your hair goes a long way,” she says.
Instead of setting your alarm for 7 a.m., try 6:55. This way, you’ve got some time to wake up and hit the snooze alarm once or twice without messing up your morning routine. If getting up early isn’t physically possible for you, set out your clothes the night before. You’ll have more energy to be creative with your outfit. Plus, it’s always assuring to know you won’t have to rush around in the morning trying to find that cute pair of jeans.
2. You get to show off your unique personal style
If there’s one thing about college that’s better than high school, it’s definitely the nonexistent dress code. You’re free to wear short shorts and tanks with straps one finger wide. Even if your style fits within the constraints of the dress code, sometimes your outfits weren’t practical. Five-inch wedges and three flights of stairs is a big no-no for most girls, although if you’re the girl with runway-ready balance skills, mad props to you! College is the time when you can start over with a new style or wear what you wish you could’ve worn in high school.
Sam Galing, a senior at Arcadia University, says, “My favorite outfits to wear to class are a nice shirt with jeans and cute boots. I take pride in dressing my best for class!”
Of course, your personal style doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Cute and cozy is the best combination. Whether it’s leggings and an oversized sweater or a flowy t-shirt dress, getting to express your personality through clothing speaks volumes to the people around you. Also, who doesn’t love receiving compliments?
3. You’ll work more productively
There’s something beautiful about going to class in sweatpants and a loose hoodie, especially in the colder winter months. You can snuggle into the rock-hard chair, pull the sleeves over your hands so only the writing utensil peeks out, and dream about the bed that awaits you after class. As much as certain classes bore us to death, we are college students. Our jobs are to learn and pay attention to whatever’s going on. Clothing that resembles sleepwear doesn’t help with staying attentive.
“I’m always more productive when I’m satisfied with my appearance,” says Angela Laurito, a sophomore at Pace University. “I’m generally happier which makes getting work done more enjoyable.”
Angela’s philosophy is similar to the idea that you shouldn’t do homework on your bed. You’re more likely to fall asleep if you’re reading a textbook while lying down than sitting in a chair. A solution to your droopy-eyed demeanor in class could be as simple as putting on a pair of jeans instead of flannel pants in the morning. However, don’t make yourself uncomfortable and wear your least favorite pair of khakis. You’ll regret it and be distracted by your discomfort level instead of paying attention in class.
4. It doesn’t take too much effort
It’s true that all of us are lazy on a certain level. This is the reason things like dry shampoo were invented. College seems to amplify the effects of laziness because it’s more relaxed than high school. If you’re allowed to wake up five minutes before class starts and show up in the pajamas you slept in without judgment, why wouldn’t you? It’s so easy.
While your laziness won’t hurt anyone, there comes a point when laziness can be misconstrued for sloppiness. It’s possible your relaxed wardrobe views can bleed into other parts of your life including work ethic and relationships. Morgan Pitts, creator-in-chief of Black Girls Who Blog and brand representative for Glossier, believes that dressing up can take minimal effort.
“[The keywords are] cleanliness and coordination. Sweatpants are cool and cozy, but you don’t want them to have stains from last week’s lunch at the dining hall. Also, just because you’re wearing sneakers and a hoodie doesn’t mean that they can’t match or complement one another,” she says. “If you stick to monochromatic/greyscale hues, you can easily mix and match while staying polished.”
If you have typical wardrobe staples like a white shirt and jeans, it won’t be hard to dress up the basics.
5. You’ll make a good impression on others
Even though we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts, the reality is that people are visual. We get judged by what we wear and how we present ourselves in different environments. Sometimes women dress up to impress others. While it’s not your job to look pretty, putting in extra effort on the daily can change perspectives positively and help you in the long run.
Kayleen Parra-Padron, a senior at Florida International University, says, “It wasn’t until I had my first crush in college that I decided to dress up a bit more to get him to notice me.”
You never know who you might run into in college. It could be an important professor, a major crush, or even a future employer. You wouldn’t want any of these people to see you in your laziest outfit, would you? Pitts believes it’s always best to be prepared. “Because your appearance speaks before you do, you want to be looked at in the best light. Practicing this now will get you in the habit of dressing for the job you want rather than the job you have,” she says.
Nowadays, it’s easy to transition your outfit from class to an internship without dressing up much more. It’s like going from day to night. Add a few accessories, change your shoes and you’ll be ready to take on the world.
Dressing up for class in college shouldn’t be a chore. We should all feel self-confident, stylish and productive both inside and outside the classroom. All it takes is a few minutes of extra effort and the inspiration to put your dirty sweatpants in the hamper and open your closet door.